Motivation

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Down

Officially back in the mountains for the winter and contest season has officially started!!

USASA was this past weekend, and while its a small competition it was awesome to get a competition under my belt especially before the RevTour on Wednesday!!! I walked away with my first (hopefully of many) 1st place finish and a little gold medal to top it off! We were given 2 runs and after throwing down an OK first run I was antsy to try the cork 9 that I was convinced I could pull off even after a 72 hour hiatus finishing finals and NOT sleeping. Long and the short... it ended horribly and have attached a video.



But no need to dwell on the negative, today was another day of training. Started at Copper then headed over to the bag jump (referred to as the BJ/ Air Boob) and ended up having the whole thing to myself with Elana/ "E". Still felt off from the fall yesterday and left a bit frustrated but overall still learning things I need to tweak and continue to push for. I ended up chilling in Vail with E and two of the kids who are living with here so they don't have to make the commute from Aspen, one of which is my "good luck charm". Made smoothies and waffles with them and watched ski videos from the pro's at Xgames, to the US olympic aerials team on the water ramps in UT. The take-off is EVERYTHING in this sport, everything else comes with practice and a better understanding of the territory but the take off is KEY so def. will be locking that down to stomp a sick run for Wednesday!! Its been so nice getting some time to get to know the boys on the team; both they and the coaches are awesome (understatement of the year), so supportive and positive and talented its not a bad deal skiing everyday with clones of my little bro. I'm so happy to be back in Colorado but really looking forward to a bit of down time to sleep and catch-up from a hectic semester and demanding training.

Back at it tomorrow with the rest of the crew, don't go out until 11:30 so I get my first day of sleeping in!!!! Ah its the small things, hope everyone is having a wonderful winter break, all I want for Christmas is a WINNNN, RevTour here I come!

Sending Positive Vibes per usual :)

A∞W

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

VIDEOZZZ

Again I am in the white patterny pants for and dark top for the airbag video. The dub 12 is at the end at around 5/6 mins? And the cork 9 was the first attempt, so close!! ENJOY!!



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bag Jump Footage!

Here's the footage of the bag jump with the French team from Saturday! I am (the only girl, it shows) wearing a black jacket with white patterny pants, Kevin Rolland (#1 halfpipe skier) is in the blue jumpsuit, kid rips. ENJOY!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Letting Go

Back up in Breck!!

Jumping back and forth for school has proven to be a test for my focus to finish up, but being back in the mountains is AMAZING! I barely made my flight back Friday morning, thank you Emily, and from the second I touched down in Colorado its been non-stop.

Friday was moving day/ dry land training to prepare for the hectic weekend. Being back in the Breck house is so nice but I forget how lonely it can be living up here alone! I guess the good thing about this season is the insanely busy schedule I have. Saturday was jammed packed with a 9-1 bag jump session at Vail followed by an afternoon riding the pipe at Copper until last chair at 4:00. The bag jump is this crazy looking feature that looks like two halfpipe slices side by side, with a huge airbag at the base of the walls they share. Really confusing but its amazing for training as you can simulate your first hit and throw any crazy trick without the fear of absolutely obliterating every bone in your body. The Saturday session was my first day with the team and we were joined by the French National Freestyle team and arguably the best men's pipe skier in the world Kevin Rolland. As if that wasn't intimidating enough it was also the first day Elana (my god send of a coach) saw me ski. Long story short my first hit I just went as high as possible with a nice tweaked out mute grab to get a feel for the feature, second hit was a cork 9.... Now I realize this is all a different language to most who read this but a cork 9 is an off-axis 2.5 spin trick that most of the pro women are still attempting to perfect. I wrote it off to beginners luck and after watching the boys throwing doubles like it was no one's business, I went for my third hit. Cork 10... I landed a little bit disoriented but was met with some insanely excited cheering from my coach and when I got to the top/ drop-in point I got some smiles and approval from both the kids on my team and the French boys. Its cheesy but pushing that hard and going that far out of your comfort zone makes for a indescribable feeling; chatting with the french men made for some entertainment as well, I felt like I was talking to gods you would not believe the tricks they can throw.

That afternoon was predominately focused on my "pipe mechanics". Hitting a feature as hard as you can because you know there is no way you can get hurt gives you some confidence that the ice walls of the pipe have no problem shutting down. I did NOT throw the spins at Copper, but instead worked on remembering how to ride and air out of the 22 ft monster that is my new BFF. A couple of the US kids were there in the afternoon, typically the morning is a mad house since Copper is the only halfpipe open in CO at present. Of course every one of them knows Elana so I was shaking hands with halfpipe gods and trying desperately not to start hyperventilating and screaming like a preteen at a Justin Bieber concert.

Sunday was a long day at Copper. 9-2:30 doesn't seem like a long day but hiking/ skiing the pipe/ making laps to keep your legs warm in what felt like antarctic climate def. keeps the heart pumping. It was another day of lifting out of the pipe and breaking me of the bad habits I accumulated after only one season of riding pipe. I felt my amplitude continue to grow along with my confidence and occasionally frustration. The halfpipe is the therapy I have always needed because most of my Type A character flaws just won't cut it. Patience, trust, and "letting go" seem to be recurring words of wisdom difficult for my crazy personality to wrap any understanding around... but I am getting there.

Today is Day 1 of the Grand Prix competition which I opted out of so the pipe is closed for competitors only. The weather gods must like me though because we keep dipping in and out of the negative's and I would rather go on a date with Rosie Odonnel than brave that kind of cold. Sooo, today is dedicated to dryland and a desperate attempt to study (currently failing more than a penguin attempting flight). Tomorrow is a dryland and tramp morning followed by either another bag jump session or some quality time at my fav place Woodward. I'm hungrier than ever for that RedBull helmet and the spot at the Xgames so its pedal to the medal, I've kissed my final grades goodbye and come to terms with reality, this is where I am supposed to be and I could not be happier. Can't wait to see everyone one last time over finals week, best of luck to everyone studying!! Sending positive vibes.

Love,

A∞W

PS. Sponsor update!! Had a great meeting with Icelantic over Thanksgiving Break and I could not be more excited to work with the company. They hooked me up with some sweet gear and some new sticks on the way and are so supportive of my goals and coming season schedule. They have some sweet projects in the mix as well including a documentary I hope to get some sick shots to contribute to! They have photographers and filmers on deck so anytime I need help putting some shots on the desks of future sponsors, they are there backing me up! The company is sick I highly recommend checking out their skis and keeping an eye out for my debut on the "TEAM" tab!! Everything is falling into placeeeee :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Forgot how to College...

As usual my consistency in posting is not the best; however things have been quite busy!

I am back at Cal now for what will be my last semester on campus. There are still units I will have to compete in order to graduate (what was I thinking Freshman and Sophomore year) so Hello Online classes/ a summer session! As if life back up in Breck won't be busy enough!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR SNOW!!

In so many words being back at Cal has been good. Its nice to be back in the Bay Area among the people who really contributed/ are the epitome of an amazing college experience. That being said my focus on school started out strong but is being weaned away by the thoughts of snow and all of this year's ski movie releases!! Not to mention the wonderful email update from Keystone alerting me that opening day is in approx. 7 weeks, how is anyone supposed to focus with yet another season right around the corner!? I have ssooo much work to do!

Being back in the school swing has been a difficult adjustment especially with a course load of 2 full-time students... but hey its all worth it; and when I hit the podium we can all laugh at the 5 finals and 2 thesis papers I will have had to write in order to get there! TOTALLY NOT that funny right now but the classes are interesting and I am continuing to gain more perspective. The past ski season, summer in New Zealand and time back at Cal has helped me to step back and reflect on the path I have chosen. Its actually quite astounding how quickly the "best 4 years of your life" have flown by; but more shocking has been the personal growth.

I've been hitting the tramps at least 3 times a week and working to get my core strength back along with the air awareness I will need once I sack up and start trying doubles!! I am looking forward to Thanksgiving break and FINALLY dropping back into the pipe but I am also trying to see this time as a lesson in patience and mental strength to remain steadfast in the belief that this goal is going to happen because I can make it happen. Most of the frustration comes from seeing and hearing about all of the training/ resources the pros have access to; but keeping my focus set in the here and now is the next step in preparing for the career ahead. I am so happy to be among friends again, and have come to realize that I have officially fallen in love with this sport and the crazy/ frustrating/ rewarding process that comes along with it. Even though it has pushed me to a very jam packed final semester people go to crazy lengths for the people/ things they love.. and I am crazy, soooo I'd say that's about all the explanation necessary! Cheesy way to end a Monday night but my procrastination needs an outlet so maybe there will be more blogging?

I am also taking any bored volunteers to come up and video me on the tramps! Should put a little edit together so that Red Bull can start sizing the helmet and drafting up the contract they don't yet know they will be handing to me :)
God growing up is scary... that's it for now, nothing too interesting to report yet but midterms are around the corner and I have 5 all in that one week. Survival of the fittest? Sending out positive vibes to everyone as usual.

A∞W

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Exploring!

Hello!!!

Long time, no update?? Sincerest apologies its been BUSY around here!!! Where to start...

Right now we are preparing for this HUGE expo event so efforts in PR have been on hyper-drive and meetings have been abundant but educational. I am ssoo excited that the south island is starting to get DUMPED on.. skiing ssoo soon I cannot wait!!

Last weekend (I guess 2 weekends ago) we did the touristy stuff around Wellington, touring around parliament and getting some history on the city and LOTS of walking/ hiking. We live at the base of Mt. Victoria and hiked it Sunday morning to get a glimpse of the spectacular view over the city and all of the bays... breathtaking, so worth the hike and the chilled wind at the top, NZ has some of the coolest landscape I have ever seen and getting a bird's eye view was nothing to complain about!! Later that day we did this 8 mile hike/ walk along the red rocks at Island Bay!! Again the scenery was too beautiful for words!! The walk was much longer than we had initially planned but what else is there to do on Sundays!?

This weekend was a blast too. Friday night we went out and I honestly don't even know how to explain the "going out" scene. The bars are an eclectic collection of Irish pubs, jazz clubs, Electric/ Boogie night, and Dubstep. Of course we hit as many as humanly possible and danced to 90's alternative rock with people who couldnt dance (let alone stand) but were having a blast feeling the music and just being happy (I guess thats the recurring theme here... weird concept :) Then we'd cruise over to MJ and Spice Girl throw backs and then over to a dark and PACKED upstairs club/ bar that was cranking dubstep so loud the bass might as well have been the city's heartbeat. So much fun, what would life be without music?? Its hard not to have fun when your dancing... no complaints on my end, we all had an absolute blast!!

Saturday was a nice lazy day, a couple of us went to breakfast at another one of Wellington's unique cafes (there are so many its awesome) and ended up staying for 3 hours just gabbing (oh gal pals!). The sun was out so I napped on the deck and we recovered from a late night with Harry Potter movies (getting ready for the big one Thursday morning at 6:30 am).

Sunday (yesterday) was great because we went to the South Island!!! Took a morning ferry/ cruise ship over to Picton/ Marlborough area where in this 4,000 person town there are around 160 vineyards!! We did a wine tour for the day and enjoyed the country side and obviously the wine! At the last vineyard two of the girls bought wine (never before had they liked any wine) and for the World Cup they did a promotion where you could try to kick a rugby field goal and win their Savignon Blanc (awarded the best in the country, and NZ is known for is Sav Blanc). Sooo, about a 35yrd rugby kick given to me by one of my friends ended with a free bottle of wine for me!! I think the woman as just as shocked as I was when I made it, you only get one shot, no warm up and I guess only 5 other people have made it, none of them girls. Sheer dumb luck is what is came down to but she gave me a little certificate and a free bottle of $75 dollar wine... #WINNING!!

The ferry ride back was calm, the way there was sunny and GORGEOUS (i feel so retarded saying that over and over again so from now on lets just assume that everything here is beautiful). Some parts reminded me of Colorado... can it be winter again now? Anyway long story short things are still going swimmingly down here! the winter weather has started to settle and I can't even begin to put into words how excited I am to get my ski on :) I'm sick of hearing about all the summer stuff going on in Hood and Whistler, I have a LOT of work to do in the next 6 months, this coming season is a HUGE. Thats about it! Still no Kiwi man friend but we have made friends with this crazy guy who owns a pizza/ gelato shop and hooks us up with free pies when we go in "as an appetizer", so funny he's the man. Hope all is well with everyone else!!! Fingers crossed I get outta here without any big natural disaster, we had an earthquake Tuesday it was terrifying.

Sending out positive vibes as usual!!!

Love,

A∞W

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jumping off S@%# !!!!






Back to Wellington alive!!

This past weekend was the most amazing, adrenaline pumping weekend of my life!!
We had a nice sushi dinner Friday night (the midwest apparently doesn't have very good seafood... weird how that works) but called it an early one in the name of the road trip!!

Katelyn (love of my life), Sarah, Alex and I set out early Saturday morning in a crappy old Nissan for a nice 5 hour trip up the the center of the North Island to the "Great Lake Taupo", pronounced Toe-Paw. The lake is the largest in New Zealand, and was absolutely breathtaking!! The car ride seemed to last an hour at most, we were all in such awe of the landscape and the Dr. Seus style hills that were littered with sheep, cows, and ponys! We stopped at a cafe about 2 hours south of the lake in a little town called Taihape and had the most amazing coffee and carrot cake I have ever tasted, then continued our trip up north!

Just south of the lake is a "desert" where Mt. Ruapehu sits jutting from the ground blanketed in snow and clouds. It's where they filmed Mt. Doom for the Lord of the Rings! I can totally understand why they came down here for it, the scenery is out of this world! When we finally arrived at the lake we got out and snapped some nice pics by the water and drove right over to NZ's highest water-touch bungy jump :)
Of course I was antsy and went first... The weirdest part is looking down from the edge of a bridge knowing that you are supposed to chuck your body off the platform and free-fall until the cord catches you. It was around 150 feet up and is deemed by many to be the "fastest self-discovery experience". My swan dive was not up to Pocohauntas standards but not to shabby. I bounced around a few times after the initial drop but in all honesty your mind just goes completely blank when you take that leap... I wasn't thinking of anything at all, it kind of reminded me of the scene in Peaceful warrior when he is tossed from the bridge and taught to "take out the garbage". I have never felt my mind so clear and blank, it was wonderful (reflecting back on it) and something I would like to master without involving a bridge and cord wrapped around my feet (though I wouldn't mind doing it again and again and again...).

We went to dinner where they bring out a really hot rock and a slab of raw meat and have you cook your own steak/ prime beef dinner! We were waaayyy too amused by it but had a lovely dinner looking onto the lake and the lights of the little town.

Sunday was another adrenaline filled day. Katelyn and I wanted to end the weekend trip with a jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet up. The company was so nice and the instructors were hilarious. We jumped with 2 older men and our guides had a blast messing with us for the duration of the 15 minute climb to the 15,000 ft altitude. My guide's name was Lee and Katelyn's guide picked up on how freaked out she was an tortured her the whole way up. Some lines included "Oh i was hammered last night when I packed the parachute, hope it works" and "if it doesnt deploy it will give you plenty of time to just blow up your life-vest", along with tugging at our harnesses and giving eachother confused looks like "is that supposed to fit like that? do you think that will hold? what does that strap do?". Oh man hilarious... and then they opened the door at the rear of the plane. The nice thing was how quickly it happens, there is no time to think "holy crap I am jumping out of a plane" because they scoot you down the bench, sit you outside the plane, get you into position and just release!!! The freefall lasted a little over a minute and was the craziest feeling in the world. VERY different from bungy because you really have no perception of how high you are without any vantage points like in bungy... I think its just the idea of being so high up that is the scary part. We deployed at about 6,000 feet and coasted down. Lee let me steer the parachute for a bit as we looked over the lake, desert, mtns and little towns below. He did some CRAZY spinning where we ended up being OVER the parachute in what felt like a death spiral. But we landed safely and as quickly as it started it was over!! Such a cool experience!!

Thats about it with the updates for now! All my ski trip details have been set and I am ready to go down as soon as the darn snow decides to get down here and do its job. So excited to get in the pipe and start throwing some new tricks/ perfecting the ones I def. should have by now!! Hope all is well with everyone, sending out positive vibes as always!!!

LOVE,
A∞W

Monday, June 20, 2011

Suit

First week of work completed! And now I am almost half way through the second (but who's counting). I have to say that while this is an awesome opportunity work wise, the longer I sit at a desk reading about the summer ski camps taking place back in the US while simultaneously waiting for an adequate cover of preseason snow here the more I realize how badly I NEVER WANT TO BE A SUIT!

The last week was pretty hectic in the office. I have officially mailed out my first Press Release to three big Wellington magazines. I have gone to 4 client meetings and have a pretty good grip on what it takes to market a product. While I have loved the trust my boss has put in me, I am slightly overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility bestowed on me from the get go. Again, not a bad thing... I've been working with the head PR guy, Nick, and he has been helpful in understanding how to write a press release and establish contacts with the editors of publications you are trying to get into. I have steared him away from his red pen (the first drafts looked like a warzone) and really learned how to condense my writing which, by the way, both my boss and Nick really like!!!! HUGE relief on that one, and made me feel pretty good since the other intern is still busy skyping his mother daily (in the office, in front of our boss) and struggling with the act of copying and pasting general emails to potential clients.

The office has grown on me and I think the other companies really respect that I am trying to get the most of this experience. There are literally no women (thank god they intimidate the crap out of me) in the office and its been fun talking to people from the other companies that share the office space. Lots of Christchurch stories and a reminder of all the cool things I have to do while in "en-zed".

I am still loving my flat-mates! We went out on friday night and had quite a few funny misadventures which included a run in with smurfs, hot transvestites (amazing shoes), a dance stop in the middle of Cuba Square (bar strip), and a nightclub that must have found the American Boogie NIght mixtape and decided to play it on repeat (the people here LOVED it though, so we danced the night away to MJ).

Saturday was raining off and on so we all did our own workouts and I went over to read the paper and chill at a coffee shop down the street (such an old woman). That night we went to the last rugby game for Wellington's club team. The stadium is right on the harbor and as we were walking up the long terminal the torrential downpour hit (thank god for my raincoat obsession). The game was fun, we were right in the front (not under any cover) and had a blast with the crazy people in our section who insisted on chanting and starting the wave as many times as humanly possible. Finally saw some pretty cute boys, of course on the last game of the season. So despite being sopping wet and a loss for the Hurricanes, we had a really nice time.

Kaitlin (my hysterical house-mate) has this weird love of the elderly. On the bus ride back this cute old little woman missing her entire row of bottom teeth, sat down across from us. She told us how she was running late and made the comment "wouldn't it just be wonderful if we were all perfect". I have never seen someone so enthrawled and excited to hear and old woman speak, but K was freaking hysterical... ssooo excited and of course would not shut up about how "ADORABLE" her little hat and coat were. oohh man, funny stuff? Maybe not, guess you had to be there.

Sunday was chill too, I went over to Te Papa (the museum of NZ) and spent a good 4 hours there looking around and educating myself about the Maori (natives) and the rest of the culture. Its kind of relaxing to go around a foreign city and just soak everything in! Of course made a stop in at my coffee shop, they love that I am from America, though I tend to joke about being an annoying "Murican". Overall, awesome weekend but big plans are in the works for next weekend!! I am having withdraws from the lack of adrenaline rush lately so I will be indulging in that very soon!! Not to mention a serious desire for Taco Bell, easy mac and Pizza Republica (we've all made lists of the food we want when we go back). Can't believe I've only been down here for 2 weeks, I feel like I know the city backwards and forwards already! Getting out for some adventures very soon! Hope all is well with everyone, sending out positive vibes as usual. PRAY FOR SNOW (colorado seems to be hoarding it still...)

Love

A∞W

Monday, June 13, 2011

The land of Kiwis

Cheers from Wellington, New Zealand!!

I have been here for about 5 days and feel much more settled and comfortable with the country's capital. I live with 4 other girls (all from the midwest) in a flat in the city; it is walking distance to EVERYTHING and definitely makes life easy as far as getting to work, restaurants, bars... you know, the important things :)

My roommates are hysterical, and took me out my first night (friday) to get a feel for Wellington and meet some of the Kiwis they had befriended. The city is pretty small, about 500,000 people, but is so vibrant with live music, fun bars, tons of museums, and a young business district where I intern 5 days a week. The company is in the starting stages but has already really taken over in Wellington tourism and looks to quickly expand into Auckland, Queenstown, and other major cities on both the North and South Islands.

Working life is def not what I expected, the days are much longer than I thought but its been great working for this company as my second day here I am already writing press releases and scheduling meetings with potential customers. Not the coffee and copy job so many interns have to suffer through, I actually feel like I am on the road to some great work experience (even though it is a bit scary having no clue what I am doing)! Oh isn't growing up fun.

All the girls I live with and I have sat down and created lists of things we would like to do while here. Obviously as the adrenaline junkie I have found the most absurd things to do, especially in Queenstown (the adventure capital of the WORLD). There is this zip-line from hell you can do where they pretty much strap you to a motorized stretcher attached to a zipline wire and send you across a canyon... then there is the necessary Bungee jumping field trip, it was invented here so it would be a sin not to do it. Skydiving (tommy) and as much skiing and exploring as I can fit into a weekend/ week day (when they are free).

I went on a jog the other morning up Mt. Victoria, which our flat is perfectly situated on the base of, and the look-out at the top was breathtaking. It is winter here so we are to start expecting some more cloudy, rainy, mild days but since sunday we have been blessed with sun and a crisp breeze. I am looking forward to the meetings with Ben (CEO) at the end of the week (the other intern wasn't invited, its safe to say i'm kicking his butt) and the rugby game/ other festivities we have planned for the weekend!! The hunt for a hot kiwi man-friend is ON.

Speaking of Kiwis... went to the zoo on Sunday with some of the girls and had an absolute bast. Fed giraffes, saw some kangaroos and KIWIS!!!!! they have a 1-legged one named Tahi (which means 1 in the native language Maori). Lots of fun so far and looking like there is only more of it to come!!! Loving the land of the Kiwis but missing the fam! Hope all is well with all the other crazies interning abroad, Europe is being overrun with Cal Lax-rats, wish I could get over there to join :)

Lots of love and sending positive vibes to everyone, especially those affected by yet another earthquake in Christchurch.

A∞W

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thats a Wrap!

Last day in Colorado!!! I've been running around like a crazy person for the past few days trying to make sure that all my ducks are in a row (fingers crossed they are). I'm pretty sure I have everything but at this point I would get on a plane without any baggage just to get there already!!

Today is the last day coaching the 180 lax rats :(
I have to admit that being with that group of girls has been the highlight of my spring. Its unbelievable how much all of them have grown and almost creepy how emotional I am getting about leaving them. First summer without them in like 4 years!! But I am all for breaking out of the routine and I am definitely ready to get out and experience something new!! I will be following up with pics and updates from down-under!! Planning out the big things I have to do while I'm down there and bungee jumping may be my inaugural activity my first weekend... why not start things with a bang?? Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer, it feels like everyone is globetrotting this summer, how are all the Euro travelers doing?? Miss everyone as usual!

LOVE,

A∞W

Friday, May 20, 2011

Icelantic!

SKI SPONSOR!!!!!!! and the most amazing birthday gift I could ever ask for. While I have not been on snow for about a month things have been quite busy. I've become a hot yoga fanatic while trying to prepare for New Zealand and more skiing!! My dad worked in Vail with the Operational manager of a Colorado based ski company called Icelantic and kinda gave him the low-down on what I was doing. He talked to the founder and they were stoked at the prospect of my ultimate goals (Xgames/ Olympics) so I'll be spreading the word in NZ and getting some pics and continuing the edit work with my 2 new SICK pairs of skis!! The company is really taking off especially for how young it is (only 6 years!). I had a meeting with the founder Ben today and got a tour around their Denver office and a look at next years sticks that I will be receiving! The artwork is unbelievable and the concept for their skis is innovative and exciting so I am hoping this is the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship!

Until New Zealand I'll be mounting my new skis and taking laps at A-basin which is still getting snow and having powder days on the REG (pretty impressive for mid-may). Not to mention coaching a little lacrosse and trying to tie the loose ends for the trip down to NZ aka Working Holiday Visa, banking... the whole nine yards. Its been nice having a little downtime but I have to admit that there isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about skiing. I am so ready to get back in the pipe and continue my progression and get revved up for next winter's competition season! So that's about it for the latest news from me but once I am down in New Zealand I will be sure to keep the blog posts flowingggg. Life is good, I have so much to be thankful for and even more to be excited about... I'm down for a crazy ride so we will see what happens!

A∞W

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful:

Season is OVER!!!! And with record snowfall, countless bumps and bruises, and a few eye-opening experiences I can safely say it was the best winter I have ever had. My sincerest apologies for the lack of “update”; last week I attempted to post a little video blog (inspired by Gina) but the blog was not a fan and there were some technical issues with the video itself.

So again I find myself standing at another life checkpoint per se. Plans for New Zealand are solidified and I set off at the beginning of June until the fall semester rolls around! The internship I “snagged” (Tori) is once-in-a-lifetime status, so I am very anxious to get things going and get down there! I will have weekends to ski and a 2 week stint on the south island working with the big ski resorts which will make sneaking away for some hits in the pipe much easier ☺!!!!

I originally thought that the NZ Freeski Open (slopestyle/ pipe competition) would be held again in August but it will take place this year in September instead… which is a bit of a buzz kill as far as starting my competition career but I’m pretty sure I will survive and life will go on. Ended the year with some pretty powdery days so NOT too much quality time in the pipe resulting in most time spent on the jumps. I am still trying to perfect my 5’s spinning to both the left (my dominant side) and the right (wee bit harder) in the pipe, which is not prevalent in the women’s field (the whole spinning both ways thing). Had a pretty bad crash on one of the last days so today I will be getting an MRI on my shoulder to see what the deal is, at least the knees held up (I am still utterly shocked that that is the case)! Even though I will be back in school this fall, I am excited to keep training and working hard at chipping away at this crazy profession. After stress reactions, a chipped femur, bursitis, concussions, jammed/ dislocated/ broken thumbs and messed up shoulders and elbows I can say that I have survived this season and I am ready for hundreds more. There were so many positives of the season both on and off the mountain that only reassure me that I have made the right decision by taking charge of my life and going after my goals (as crazy as they may seem). I am so excited to see where this endeavor takes me!

“if you are not willing to risk for the unusual; you will have to settle for
ordinary”

Things have been a bit hectic back home so family time has been huge for the past week that I’ve been back in Denver. I will be visiting my dad’s mom this weekend in Kansas and making a few stops at KU to re-acclimate myself to college life. Tommy is still in lacrosse season and with a recent bumpy couple of weeks I am taking lots of time to be with my family/ loved ones. Life is so short that we really take it and the people in it for granted. So thankful for those in my life, as cheesy as it is you really have no idea the curve ball tomorrow can slam in your face… trying to really enjoy living in the moment and the company I am in, I feel like I have learned ssoo much…. And apparently become a huge hippie!! That’s about it though! Remaining vigilant yet patient with the halfpipe madness but I am still completely invested in the chase. Good luck to the laxers in MPSF, sending positive vibes as always.

All my love.

A∞W


ps. Jen Hudak (i know i am slightly obsessed) has this sweet mantra that her family really embraced when her father was diagnosed with leukemia, thought i would pass it on! "Conquer your Everest"


Commit yourself to your goal then
Open your mind to all possible paths.
Never give up.
Question those who doubt you and respond with
Unrelenting focus.
Exert yourself in a
Regimented training routine.
___
You are your biggest competition.
Organize your efforts and maintain an
Unfailing belief in yourself.
Require 10% more each day.
___
Expect the best, but prepare for the worst.
Vary your outlook.
Exempt yourself from excuses.
Resist distractions and
Escape restrictions.
Surpass others expectations and always
Test the limits.
_______________________
CONQUER YOUR EVEREST

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sochi

http://sports.espn.go.com/action/freeskiing/news/story?id=6273652

Time do dial in my right and left 5's... progression/ patience are now on rush delivery.
Updates to follow... out to hit the pipe!


A∞W

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Gravity?

What a BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!!! AAHH we finally got some snow (we were in desperate need) granted it was only 5 inches but it was of serious help to the mountain that continues to be plowed over by tourists. Today was sunny, warm, spring time ski weather and I had an AWESOME day in the pipe. Getting back from the concussion with freshly tuned skis, I focused on pushing my amplitude even further. I had some great hits and was getting out of the pipe 5-6 feet!!! I have to admit that it feels ssoo much higher when you are in the air but nailing that initial drop/ hit has my confidence and comfort in the pipe rising.

There is about a month left of season and I have a feeling that this remaining time will be dense with progress. I went over to work with the Vail coach, Dave, at Woodward this afternoon (and will be back tomorrow) and started off with my flat spins (they have proved to be quite the hurdle). Again the problem with this sport is relaxing and letting go, my tendency to over-analyze is the shock collar that prevents me from moving forward. Sooo, today was about letting that go, relaxing as I jet out of the pipe and trusting my body on the tramps and ramps at Woodward. After a good 2 hours I left feeling confident with my progress and lesson to really "take out the trash" and let go of all the inner monologue/ analyzing. All of which resulted in some SICK 5's and 7's and flat spins!!!!

Still finalizing plans for this summer in NZ and trying to organize my life for my return to Berkeley in the fall. Its shocking to think of how fast time has flown by. How am I almost a SENIOR IN COLLEGE?! In all honesty I'm having quite a bit of internal strife in terms of the future. Its aggravating when it feels like you are the only one who truly buys into what your doing and the plan you have set for yourself. I have been so fortunate with success in such a broad range of endeavors but I think that instead of seeing that as a sign for impending failure, I see it as motivation to continue to work towards a goal. So many people halfheartedly go for things and plan "back-ups" "just in case something happens", doesn't that seem like a premature raising of the white flag or expectation to fail?? We often define ourselves through our accomplishments, but true definition of character is established based on how you pick yourself up after falling and it may be the crazy competitive side of me saying this but if i fail I want to know that there was NOTHING else I could have done to succeed in that specific area. Everyone has run into roadblocks whether they are minuscule or gargantuan, I guess its my stubborn nature speaking but if I set a goal, there is nothing that can stand in my way and impede me from accomplishing it. At this crossroads (end of college) it is difficult to define whether you are "young and have so much time" or "need to start getting your life plan together". Frankly I am scared to death. But I know deep down that I do have time, and going off and getting married or bringing a corporate big wig his morning coffee in order to seal a comfortable future are not paths I want to take. At this point I think its about deciding what you want from your life and how many risks you are willing to confront in order to achieve that. Yes, things can go awry and failure can happen, but the greatest failure is cutting yourself short and fearing to take that jump. I know loved ones don't want to see us fail or get hurt but at some point you have to trust that everything you've learned and the person you have defined yourself to be will help you to succeed or adjust. Growing up... oh there just isn't anything like it is there??

I don't mean to go on a rant but I have been thinking a lot about the future and how fragile the plans we set for ourselves really are. I have a vision of where I want to be one year, five years, even ten years from now but there are so many events we don't see/ know about that can have such an impact on our future! (at age 10 did you think you'd be where you are today?) Heavy stuff for a Wednesday night, I guess I just wanted to verbalize what I have come to find; it may suck but it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks... the most crucial component of success is believing, with all of your heart/ every ounce of you, in YOURSELF (I'll be going out for Miss America soon).

This mountain air and alone time has obviously lead me to believe that I am the next Aristotle so again my apologies for any forced opinions/ tirades on life. I'm reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" (thank you Tori :) and have to say its an awesome book, great read for the summer for those of you literate folk. Obviously I am losing any social aptness so I am cutting myself off. Goodnight and congrats to the Lax Rats on the win over Drexel!!! (Mel 4 goals... really?!?!) Counting down the days until I see you all in April. More updates on skiing, less on life outlook, to follow.

A∞W

PS. anyone have twitter?!
FOLLOW ME! @Allie_Welsh

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pinch Me!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!! Why is time flying by, I am in shock that we are already knee deep into March! Breck has been flocked by gleeful Spring Breakers and while the sun and wonderful weather have been amazing, it appears that mud season is getting an unwelcome head-start. Euro Xgames were this week and there was quite a bit of drama. Jen Hudak opted out after a bad injury to her shoulder and knee (she has had 4 knee surgeries too) during a 900 in her warm-up run. I have to say that after following her on Twitter (lame I know) and reading her blog, I have found a new hero. Her parents are college professors and she is a raging intellect with a big heart and determination to boot. It is so refreshing to read the words of an accomplished athlete who has such an unrestricted outlook on the world around her. She is a decorated pipe skier (to say the least) and had to opportunity to travel and film in Japan this year with the big mountain skiers. Reading her blog has been so refreshing and interesting, I feel like less of a tool sharing my outlook on things and throwing inspiring quotes at those of you brave enough to follow me via this blog.

Monday was full of progression and set back. I have started to work on my 5’s in the pipe and believe I am ready for some flairs as well. Monday was the big day where I bit the bullet and just went for broke in terms of putting together the amplitude I have been diligently working on as well as the unknown territory that is spinning!!! I fell quite a few times but had some moments of brilliance who’s glimmers of hope may have blinded my rationality. On a few hits I over-rotated, landed too far down the pipe and in most cases caught an edge causing me to repeatedly snap down onto my head (thank god for helmets, I wear my religiously). Needless to say the repeated trauma, thanks to my stubborn nature, was not the best thing for my head and after a little regurgitation episode I decided that it was smart to call it a day and call DAVE! I’m feeling a lot better today and much less concussed. I went to the gym to sweat for a while and I will be getting back to those damn spins tomorrow, I think staying off of the green, alcohol, tourist infested mountain today was the best decision for my healing noggin. I will say though, watching Jen’s practice run crash really made me understand that this sport is really about focus 100% of the time, if you are not completely committed its not a question of maybe getting injured, it’s a guarantee 100% of the time. Even the pro’s deal with it, Simon Dumont hurt his shoulder, girls are getting collarbone surgery, knee surgeries, etc, to say the least this is a really tough sport.

I talked to my mom on the phone yesterday and of course she was worried about my head and reminded me that if this doesn’t work out than its ok to put down the ski’s and go back to a more leisurely side of the sport. I obviously snapped back and became emotional at those words because that thought has been a plague to my mind since I decided to come out here. I agree that there is a line and some point where we have to be able to let things go that aren’t working out as difficult as it is, whether that is something like your respective division 1 sport or a crazy dream to throw yourself out of a 22ft tall ice block. But as athletes we push ourselves to the point where that path that leads us away from that sport we love, is the only one in sight. If you love something with all of your heart and it consumes your mind, body, and soul then the only one pulling that rip cord should be you. Everyday I think about how crazy this may seem, how hard it is, how slowly I am progressing, how likely it is that the future I see for myself in skiing will not work out. But that is exactly what brings me back every day. While the world may be against you (or at least it may feel that way) your aspirations have NOTHING to do with anyone but YOU. Its so easy to get caught up in the negative green monsters claws and wish ill upon someone else or become wrapped up in the drama of being doubted and throw the towel in… but “nothing worth doing is ever easy”. This journey I am on continues to surprise me. The personal growth I have endured is unlike anything I can put into words, and being a part of an individual sport and away from the comfort of a team sport has taught me so much about my own mental toughness and determination… call it being stubborn but I have embraced it as a positive quality that has lead me to this mountain of a challenge (muhahaha PUNN). I still live by the quote “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”, taking life as it comes a day at a time and learning to love where I am and who I am. This is where I am supposed to be, this industry is where I am supposed to be and I’m not going to stop until standing a the top of that Xgame’s podium (lets not kid ourselves I wont stop unless my legs fall off and my knees explode). There is no failure except the failure of trying, and at this point I don’t have to push myself anymore, the vision of traveling to world on a pair of skis pulls me out of bed every morning.

Catie Tilton “tilt”, Annie Stookes and the BU lacrosse team are coming to play DU this weekend so I will escape the tourist trap that is the mountains and return to Denver for the weekend to see my best gal pals (hahaahahah) and hang out with the fam. Tommy is a varsity lax bro and a dominant long pole defenseman… I’m ssooo proud!!! My cousin Lizzy is in town and last weekend our family went downtown for dinner together, we’re talking aunt, uncle, mom, bro, gma, cousins, you know the whole shebang! Dinner was awesome and the city was brimming with hammered hooligans for the St. Patty’s Day parade. Gma Lou was a trooper walking by girls vommitting and guys literally passed out on the sidewalk. Family is so important and I am so fortunate to have the best one in the WORLD (no offense to anyone else). I couldn’t do what I am doing without their support and love! My other grandma (Dad’s mom in Kansas) is in the hospital with a collapsed lung so please send positive thoughts/ vibes/ prayers (whatever your into) her way, she is an incredible woman who has never missed a birthday! Safe travels to the Cal Lax team for their spring break!


A∞W

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Daylight Donuts

This is only the BEST place on earth... for breakfast at least, lets not kid ourselves I'm not going to discount Taco Bell that easily. It is also the place that started my week on a great foot. Ames and I dropped in for a wonderful dish of hashbrowns and green chili when who walks in.... Justin Dorey and Simon Dumont (TITANS of the superpipe). Of course I had just had PT and was in shorts and a longs leeve Cal shirt (yes I still rep old Berk) so I was not in a presentable state, BUT I pulled a Vail and made sure my legs looked long and luscious thanks to one more roll of the shorts for my walk past their table, and proceeded to RACE home to get my skis on and get on the mountain (miss you Vail!!). The rest of the day I spent hiking and sharing the pipe with 4 of the top pipe skiers in the world. While they were perfecting their flat 5's and a couple were throwing some doubles, I continued my patient work getting out of the pipe, staying relaxed and varying my grabs. Holy ego check... and may I say that trying to focus on skiing while being in the midst of guys like that, boarder line impossible. I was more starstruck than I would have been had Br-Angelina walked through the door.

I feel awesome this week already!!! The time off working on the hip and core strength paid off, my muscle memory has kicked in and I feel great in the pipe! Hit up the park Monday, Tuesday and today. Conditions weren't so hot today so it was a short day in the park and I cruised for a bit to clear the mind and pick my head up to remind myself what a beautiful place I am in. I've started to go for little walks at night, the stars are so bright here its like swimming in a pond of diamonds. (cheesy i know) Its a great way to end long days too, the quiet is wonderful and refreshing. "The ability to honestly and quietly reflect on one's life is one of the most powerful tools for personal growth." - Richard Carlson. Tomorrow will be another sunny day so all-day pipe sesh followed by a Woodward training sesh will make for a great Thursday! Here's hoping for a painless and successful tomorrow! Spring Break is upon us, things are bound to get busy up here so I'm trying to progress as quickly as possible before the mountain becomes a tourist amusement park. All my love to the laxers, good luck with the upcoming games, as always positive vibes being sent your way. Safe travels and stay healthy!

A∞W

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mardi Gras & March Madness

MARDI GRAS! I swear to god this is the first legitimate/ justifiable party week in Summit County; these mountain folk research for the sole purpose of finding any excuse to drink excessively, make poor decisions, and not work. With that in mind I sincerely apologize for my lack of update, it seems that this leisurely lifestyle is rubbing off on me, and no… I am still overly competitive, stubborn, and working my rapidly growing butt off. Onto the important things… SKIING. The snow is back which of course brings the many incompetent tourists who clog the mountain into looking more like an ant farm than a place for real athletes. Ok I’m sorry, I’ve been watching Tosh.0 and I think his cynical/ blunt humor is rubbing off. Back to business, weekends are a bear, tourists think that the half pipe is built for amusement and proceed to “pizza” their way down the center with blatant disregard to the many of us trying to be somewhat productive. Therefore I have been sticking to errands and fun with the fam on the weekends and training during the week. Things are continuing to go well, my hip is healing quickly thanks to my BEAUTIFUL physical therapist… we’re in love… no, he does not know yet. So three days a week with him and two days a week on the pipe from sun up to sun down has become the current routine. I hit the pipe last week after a week of mandatory rest and was surprised at how easy it felt to be in the pipe. Muscle memory you never cease to amaze me… proof that progress IS being made.

Ames came up this weekend with Burke and we all went out on the town last night with some of Burke’s friends, I was the responsible DD. #maturity (ps we ran into my PT at our last stop bar… thank you sweet 8 pound 6 ounce baby jesus)
Ames and I had a great chat about judgment. No, not in a court with an annoyed and overweight judge or at The Pearly Gates, but snap-judgment. The people I have met up here are great people, talk about street smart, some of the stories are astounding but I have found myself realizing how vastly different the culture/ people are up here compared to those I have been surrounded by. Yes weed is abundant (ssooo me… not) and jobs are held for the sole purpose of having enough money for weed, rent, booze and skiing (not that I’m mad at any of that). But it is such a different mentality; being happy and being around people who make you happy are things that people base their lives around. Initially I could not deal with the overly laid back mentality but the truth of the matter is that the welcoming, non-judgmental vibe is really teaching me how to let go. So many people have hit roadblocks and f’ed up their records but their positive outlook on whom they are and what they want to do along with their openness to those around them is eye opening. Oh life lessons… isn’t growing up fun!

Played tennis today with Ames, I’ve decided to broaden my sport horizons again after a long and very exclusive relationship with lacrosse. I have to say this experience has become so much more than I could have ever imagined. Still have over a month of season but with the whole patience on the mountain and letting go of social bull isht off the mountain, I feel liberated. I am so blessed to have support of the people I love and care about and am even happier to be doing what I love!! All the pros are flocking back before Euro Xgames and a friend of mine is doing a photo shoot in the pipe at Copper sooooo I will DEF be scoping out that scene. Promise to be better with the updates (Gina don’t kill me I will call you). “The path to success is to take massive, determined action”… Back to work tomorrow, life is good let the March Madness begin!!!


A∞W



PS. Breckenridge and Winter Olympic shout-out in Tosh’s stand-up… and for that we thank you

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's the Journey

Oh man oh man, how is it possible that February is almost over??! Time flies when your having fun?? Today was nice and relaxed, my hip had been really bothering me and I finally sacked up and went to get it checked out on Tuesday just to verify that I was being a wuss. Turns out I chipped my femur and have bursitis in my hip which explains why I have ZERO range of motion and feel like someone took a claw into the side of my hip and cranked the muscles and tendons down... needless to say Physical Therapy here I COME!! I was feeling a little bit down about another small set back so I rented the Peaceful Warrior... changed my life. PERIOD. Honestly I am disappointed I never read the book but the movie was awesome, great lessons and it takes place in Berkeley! I really can't even describe it so if you have time, I suggest renting slash just buying it. So, I will not be on the mountain until the middle of next week at the earliest and intend to use this time to diligently stretch and dedicate to physical therapy to ensure no further injury. RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is my new best friend and I am still stunned at how well my knees are holding up- knock on wood-.

After watching that movie I realized that while its awesome to set high goals and standards, there have been a lot of days where my focus is set so far into the future that I am not focused on why I chose to be here in the first place, and how amazing each day is that I am on the mountain doing what I love and doing it for ME and only me. I'm telling you this movie hit me hard, kind of an attitude check to reevaluate myself... totally needed. Tommy and I got some pretty good footage this past weekend he was up so the edit is underway!!! I feel like an excited kindergartner at show-and-tell.

Just had a nice video chat with Tak, Peaches, Chippy, and Vail!!! I really miss you guys, its weird not being on trips and seeing the team everyday, I dont know how long it will take for me to get used to it but as I told them, skiing everyday (give or take) is not a horrible existance. I've also been finalizing things on my internship in New Zealand this summer!!! 9 months straight of skiing is a fantasy that is on its way to becoming a reality.. pinch me???!! But again, not to get ahead of myself, I feel like I am slowly but surely progressing every day even if that means becoming that much more comfortable in the pipe. It's kind of a weird concept... you have to ditch your inhibitions and just trust and committ in what you are doing in there, you start thinking rationally and freaking out and before you know it your going up the wall at the wrong angle or leaving one ski out of the pipe and one ski inside the pipe when you land/ crash. I'm trying to really immerse myself in "the moment", cheesy I know, but honestly thinking and over analyzing does nothing but put you back, so I am taking out the trash, clearing my mind, and focusing on the most important thing in the world... "this moment". (seriously this is all from that movie, I am brainwashed, isht was awesome).

Long story short, this week is a rest week to get my body back to a place where I can continue to learn. There will be lots of PT, attempting to learn guitar, and reading to keep myself busy. Can't run because of my knees and shins, can't elliptical b/c of my darn hip, and lets not kid ourselves I'm not getting into ANY pool (even an inside one) with below freezing temperatures and falling snow :)
Good luck to the laxers back east!!! Show 'em whats up, I miss you guys (well some of you.... JOKING) every day, you're in my thoughts and I'm sending you positive vibes all day every day!

AW

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Delirium

THE BRO IS HERE!!!!! Ah love it when he comes up, we got dinner and a movie and have made more crude jokes in the past 24 hours than I know what to do with, its amazing having a sibling your close with... Tommy is so f'ing cool. Anywho, hit the slopes yesterday and have been for the past week; it was ssooo sunny at the beginning of the week but the snow and wind are back to play which means its looking like a powder day tomorrow. The pipe is SLOWLY getting less scary, I thought I had the whole attitude of fearlessness/ adrenaline addict down pat but I have to shut myself up when that rational voice pops into my head reminding me how crazy this is. Taking today off, my hip feels like crap I have put it through the ringer since I am starting to get my spins in the pipe going, I would LOVE to stop falling. So laying low and back out tomorrow with the bro to get some footage for my edit!!! Can't wait to put together the stuff that I have been working on, again this is a slow process but I am still confident with the choice I have made and prepared to put in as much work as it takes to make it to the top. Happy Prez weekend, sorry this was a boring post. Congrats to the Cal laxers, 2-0 in MPSF!!!!! So proud, still miss you guys everyday.

AW

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Goggle Tan


Oh yes, the goggle tan is coming along quite nicely thanks to the sun finally deciding to show up and bump the temperature out of the negatives. Yesterday I spent all day in the park, getting more and more comfortable every day, I still have some pain in my shins but that's only on the slopestyle course, the pipe (scariest thing on this planet) is painless aside from decking (landing flat on the top of the pipe) or clipping your skis and tumbling down 22 feet of ice... other than that though NO PAIN!! The knees are awesome and the shins are much better, I am figuring out what I need to do to keep them appeased. Today I am getting a bit of a late start and heading up for the second half of the day. Hiking the pipe is getting easier, its much faster to just clip out of your skies at the bottom and hike back up to the top instead of heading to the bottom of the park and riding the excruciatingly slow 2 person chair back to the top of Freeway/ Parklane (the parks at Breck). Its quite the workout too! I've been working a lot on my core strength, flexibility and agility, all things that are ssooo vital to success in this line of skiing. Also went over to Woodward yesterday after a long day of skiing (probably not my best idea). I have been working hard on my corks, rodeo and misty 5's, I am hoping to try them this weekend/ coming week on the slopestyle course, could be very successful or VERY painful.

On that note, I have been following this quote thing on Twitter and a sweet quote came up yesterday morning as I was on the chairlift: "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt". WWOOOAAAHHH, loved it, and while maybe it is not as heavily referring to "attempts" that may compromise physical well-being, I find it so true that our minds can be our strongest opponents. I feel like a creep on Twitter but it is actually awesome. After the REINSTATEMENT OF CAL LACROSSE YESTERDAY I could follow their first game of the season thanks to Twitter and of course Dave (Cal's best trainer). I am so excited to see how the team does Sunday; everything happens for a reason, its about time the athletic department snapped out of their delirious state and realized what a mistake they made cutting the most amazing group of women the school has. I am so happy for the team!!!!!! Its actually pretty funny, yesterday on the chair lift this kid was going on and on and on about his college and playing D2 lacrosse and kept saying how much he missed it and how weird it was to have graduated... while I could not get a word in edgewise I borderline started bawling thinking about how much I miss being on a team and having those pre-game jitters and high energy warm-ups. Did you guys get the warm-up Mix??!!!??

Dew Tour is wrapping up this weekend and I am hoping all of those beautiful boys hurry back to Breck, they all roll up to the park in RedBull Helmets (I would die to have one) and sticker laden skis... FIRES ME UPPPPPP!!! Not too much to report, still working on an edit to show you what I've been working on out here, this process is so slow, while I am trying desperately to embrace being patient, I swear if one more pro/ coach tells me to be patient I am going to explode!!! Good song right now- Donald Trump by Mac Miller, way chill, its a perfect song to cruise to, I listen to it to calm me down if I am getting frustrated in the park. Best Love Song by Chris Brown and T-Pain is good too!!! Oh and Akon song (Ta) called Wanna Rock... anyone have good new music?? Tak I have a playlist for you. Ok enough mindless rambling for now, off to the old saltmine (hahaha what a joke this isht is heaven on earth) !! Good Luck to the Laxers tomorrow, I'll be getting updates on the chairlift, wish I was out there with you guys :) one last quote (for now)

"The most danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but we aim too low and reach it" -Michelangelo

AW

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nobody Said It Was Easy

This is easily the most frustrating part of this process thus far. Yesterday I spent a nice long afternoon/ evening at Woodward; the guys that work there are amazing. I am making a move to start training with the Vail Freeride team after working with one of the coaches, Dave, for those 6 hours at Woodward. About 4 of those hours were spent on the tramp, learning flat spins, rodeos, flairs, corks, and some sick grabs for my misty 5 (sorry, most of that is a different language). The coaches there are so patient and laid back but are the best teachers when it comes to attempting to explain these tricks to an overly analytical person like me. While I hate how gradual this process is, the life lesson of patience is something that I am trying to really embrace. Felt like I got lots of the tricks pretty well dialed in and am finally starting to have awareness of my body while in the air trying to throw these crazy tricks. Its aggravating because if you execute the parts of a trick out of order it becomes a different trick entirely. For example, a rodeo 5 is 90 degree turn into a backflip finished with a 90 degree turn, but if you dont do the initial 90 and instead throw the backflip and then a 180 its a flaire. If you head isn't spinning then props, it took me 6 hours to finally begin to understand it. Now add skis and a jump/ foam pit to the equation... well lets just say this is like a 20 step math problem, it doesn't matter how comfortable you are with one little piece because its impossible to be successful without every part being executed perfectly... you have to really know EVERY part to get the whole equation. Holy lame metaphor but hopefully that gets the point across. Got back on the mountain today as the temperature finally broke above Zero and did some laps in Vail on the slopestyle course, its much less crowded so if you try and trick and fall there aren't 8000 people falling on top of you.

Tomorrow will be another full pipe day with a night session back at the "barn" (Woodward). Its insane that the season is half way over already, I'm putting energy into taking advantage of each day and enjoying the experiences I am having and the people I meet while taking care of and listening to my shins. It is such a different dynamic up here, open, blunt, laid back, super honest which rocks; being upfront isn't "dramatic" and mistakes happen, are repeated until that perfect run where you feel like you could float off the mountain. So much support, even people you don't know cheer if you land a trick that had kicked your a** all day. I think the competitive drive I have has been a help especially in overcoming this shin problem and persevering through frustration, but its been nice to embrace a side of me that is much more laid back. I'm discovering that people will come and go in your life whether its on a chair lift or friendship that hits a fork in the road, the only thing you can do is embrace who you are and accept those ups and downs. This book I've been reading called "The Places that Scare You" is by a Buddhist woman and it has been so enlightening, and refreshing. Its about facing adversity and instead of putting up walls, being vulnerable, compassionate, understanding and accepting. I sound like such a hippie but I'm loving every page.

The days are flying by way too fast and its even more overwhelming trying to plan the summer and the next steps. I have not been amazing at staying in touch with everyone but those I have talked to have brightened my days, I can't begin to express how grateful I am to have so much support. Its hard not wanting everything to click right away but the more I'm up here the more I realize that this is what I love, this is what I want to do, and I am not quitting unless my legs fall off. Here's hoping for a productive weekend and finally getting an edit together!!


AW

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Black and Purple Black and Purple Black and Purple Black and Purple



Oh boy, another week at work... rough stuff being on the mountain, really though its getting pretty brutal. Last week I got WAAYY too much speed on a rail (that I literally could do in my sleep) and had a nice fall back to earth onto my face/ left eye. I was wearing goggles and my helmet but the impact really f'ed my isht up. Learning experience right? Ah, whatelse... I am still working on putting together an edit that will really progress as I do throughout the season. I've been really focusing on the pipe, especially after watching the X games. It was a sick year for the women, Sarah Burke returned from shoulder surgery and threw together a sweet run stacked with 9's (2.5 spins) and flairs (kind of like a sideways flip). The weather here has not been very permissible to training with balmy -15 degree windchill and close to -20 on the mountain, thanks to this apocalyptic storm covering 2/3 of the country. Not too much to report, trying to keep truckin' this is definitely difficult mentally and physically but watching the competitions and videos some of the guys put together, it reminds me that this is really what I am meant to do no matter how "tough the going gets". I am going into Vail next week once the World Champs are over in Park City to meet with Jen Hudak's (women's superpipe all-star) pipe coach who now is the director of a club over in Vail... trying to keep options open and progress my progression (redundant much?). Trying to get summer plans finalized also, I am hoping for an internship in New Zealand and if that doesn't work then I am prepared to swim there and live in a tent on Snow Park Mountain to continue training. Aggressive.. how weird!! Anyway hopefully I will have some sick shots to put up soon, the bro was not up last weekend with the GoPro (baby camera that is literally indestructible) so we will get some filming in this coming week/ weekend! Hopefully I won't lose a limb to frostbite this week, warm thoughts go out to everyone!

A

1 more thing... these kids are obviously sick but I can't get enough of this video it is so cool and hilarious... love skiers (its the first video "Joss 2010- Team Canada)

http://tjschiller.com/media/

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Grapefruit Juice and Icy Hot

Oooo baby BABY... wondering what the title is all about? Forgetting to wash the icy hot off my hands following its application to my slowly dying shins followed by eating a delicious, ripe grapefruit drowned in sugar was easily not my best decision. However, those throbbing shins were the sign of a good couple of days. Officially I was cleared to ski Monday and obviously celebrated with a few hours of laps in the park. Threw a few straight-airs, mute (crossing one foot over the other and grabbing that foot), tail grab (also crossing one foot over the other and grabbing the ski behind you) nose grab (same thing but grabbing the ski in front of you) and Japan air (grabbing the bottom of your boot/ski) then the usual "backy" (backflip) and some 180's, 360's, and a few rails/ boxes. Whew, good start to the week. Following that day the legs were feeling a bit shakey so yesterday I went over to Woodward (an indoor training facility with tramps, foam pits, and ramps/ jumps) to switch up the training and get back to the foam pit... you know give the body a little less of a beating.

They have a big ramp (about 3 stories high) that jumps you into a foam pit. Started again with straight airs and a really nice laid out back flip to warm up and began getting into the more challenging tricks. Misty 5's are easy on the trampoline and I am finally starting to get the hang of misty 7's (both front flips combined with either 1.5 spins or 2 spins respectively).Well, on skies its a horse of a new breed... the first couple I would start off perfectly then forget to finish the trick, maneuvering your body in the air is a weird feeling, put heavy skis and boots on and you have yourself a challenge.As I got more and more frustrated with that some of the guys who work there (most of them sponsored skiers) wanted me to try doing some corks (spinning off axis, then attempting to land straight up). At that point I was so excited to be talking to boys I said screw it, had them show me what I needed to do on the take off, and just went to the top and tried it. I emerged from the foam pit to three guys freaking out at how “bad” (good bad) the cork 5 was, I think the lack of girls in that facility let alone the ski world made it that much more exciting as well. I feel like I’ve become their project. I tried a few more and as I got tired they slowly drifted from almost cork 7’s to cork 3’s (360). But for the most part, it was a very productive training session and... drumroll... I made some friends, that ski superpipe and are taking me out there today!!! Should be interesting, I am praying I don’t break anything or do anything to embarrass myself.

Lesson from yesterday, Just F’in do it, really though, just had to trust my body and throw the trick as hard as I could and what do you know it worked! Now, getting the trick down may require me to start understanding the trick more; but, the comfort level is going up and I am beginning to feel much more fearless (good and bad thing?). Sooo, off to meet up with the Woodward boys to see what I can do in the pipe!! X games tomorrow, so stoked to see what the ladies are bringing this year, the courses are flawless, should definitely be a good year!

A

Friday, January 21, 2011

AND WE'RE BACK!!!

Thank god, back on the mountain, just got home as a matter of fact and HAD to throw down an update. So I skied in Vail today, its been very windy in Breck and I did not want to be tempted to stay in the park all day. The snow was unbelieveable, honestly I was floating in knee deep powder all day long.... except when I would dip into the train park :) I tried to keep the ratio pretty balanced between all-mountain skiing and the park for the sake of my healing shins. Hit some amazing lines in the backbowls and when the sun finally came out I don't think anyone on the mountain could wipe the smiles off of their faces, the lack of lift lines may have been a factor as well. On to the park! I focused most of the day on the rails and working on staying centered on both boxes (two rails with a little bit of plexi-glass in between) and railes, getting on and staying on has become a lot easier but my dismount is struggling, I feel like a cripple walking off their crutches for the first time, its graceful let me tell you. At the end of the day I started hitting the jumps and the pipe, just to get the feeling back and work on maintaining my center and staying forward on the landing (my previous landings were "backseat" and the cause of the stress reactions). The straight-airs were feeling amazing, it honestly feels like flying, and the landings were getting smoother and smoother... I started to get some confidence back. Sooo, the last run of the day I had done 4 or 5 park runs and wanted to end may first day back with a bang. The long and the short of this is that I landed a backflip on one of the medium/ large jumps!!!!!! I can't even begin to describe the feeling, it was so effortless and easy I swear the hardest part was convincing my body that it was a good idea. Patience has definitely worked its way into my routine, being patient with my legs and actually listening to the doctors was torture but is already paying off. Being patient and smart about the runs I did today lead me to a happily landed backflip on "hardpack" (the hard mound of snow that is the landing on the jumps in the park). Needless to say I feel that I have made tons of progress already and I am ecstatic to get going on this thing. It's amazing how much I feel like I have learned already on and off of the mountain, I can't wipe the smile off my face. Today I floated, spun, grinded, and flipped... A strong mindset can take you anywhere and a determined person will achieve great things. OOHH last thing, watching pretty little liars (guilty pleasure) I saw a commercial for some Justin Bieber movie (wtf) but the song playing in the background "Never say Never" is the isht, I highly recommend it if your into the whole bubble-gum pop, pre-pubescent little boy thing. More updates to follow! X-games in a week

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Patience

So my updates have not been as often and consistent as I would have liked thus far but I promise there will be many more to come. The stress reactions in my shins have proven to really be a lesson in patience so while I have been waiting for them to heal I went to Palm Springs with my old club team to coach them in a tournament. Lucky for me Tsher and Nikki were down there (Meredith I'm bitter the third musketeer was not there) and it was amazing to see them. Sounds like preseason went well and Cal Lax is on its way to an unforgettable season. My team won their division in the tournament (surprise surprise) and I have to say being around lacrosse again especially being with those girls made me miss lacrosse and having a team, they are insane together and most of them have already committed to schools; I feel like a proud parent, they gave me a second wind and restored a happiness and passion in me, as they always do whether they know it or not. Now I am back and heading up to the mountains to get these darn legs cleared and strap the skis back on. Since I have not been on the slopes I have been doing LOTS of land training, trampoline stuff with Tommy and building ramps to practice on while I am temporarily suspended from large jumps (Home Depot thinks I am a crazy person). Keeping busy has been difficult but again I am taking this little blip as a lesson in patience, listening and adhering to the doctor's orders is something I am less than good at :) X-games are in a week, I am excited/ nervous to see what the women pull out this year I feel like I am in a really long stressful game of catch-up in trying to get where they are. Soooo, until then just uploaded a little vid of some of the trampoline stuff the bro and I did the other night, nothing too crazy just working on off axis corks and flips, and finally landing my misty 7's!!! (thats a front flip with two twists while off axis, its the second trick on the video, I threw my hands up with happiness). Hope all is well and the new year is treating everyone well! Oh one last thing about the tramp, some of the sections are in slow motion so you can really see the trick and others are in real time, they look sped up and yes I realize I look like a slob.


video

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lemons

Happy New YEAR!!! Finally its 2011, and while I would love to report that I have been on the hill every day this year I am sad to say that I have not been on the mountain once. Unfortunately I have stress reactions in my shins, the precursor to stress fractures if not taken care of. I guess its a good thing we discovered them early, but still feels like a huge set back and is miserable waking up to sun and snow and not getting to frolic in it. Essentially a stress reaction occurs when we overload training too hard, too fast, etc, the doctors call it "terrible too's" (I would find it funny if I weren't livid). I will be laying low doing pool workouts (joy) and strengthening to keep myself busy until I am cleared hopefully in a week or so. Not my ideal way of starting the year but we all know what a mess my legs are, good news.. the knees are GREAT!! SSaaoooo, I may not have updates for a little while, my bro and I will be building some "jibbing" rails (look it up) down the driveway so that I can work on that since I am not allowed to jump... you know the primary thing I have to do. The X-games this year are January 27-30, the women's slopestyle is at 1:00 denver time on the 27th and halfpipe is that same night at 9:00 Denver time. If your not busy please WATCH IT!! What you will see is exactly what I am going for and why my legs are messed up. What would a sport be without some part of my body rebelling though right? Enough about me though, Cal biddies I know you have pre-season in a couple of days (you are SAAOOO DOPE), I wish all of you the best of luck on the run-test (it may as well be called Voldemort, no one likes to hear that word) and a smooth preseason, it will be over before you know it and then GAMESSSS (girlfight)! Which also means we are closer to being reuinted, I am counting down the days until you come home to me to kick DU's butt (sa-m-na-sa DU)!!!! I miss lax already.... kinda miss the team too. I'll keep you updated on the legs so keep your fingers crossed I can get back on the mountain soon. When life gives you lemons, stay positive, get back, and get done WHATEVER it is you want to do... its gonna be a great year I have so many things to be grateful for and we can only go up from here!

Welsh

ooohhh 4-got 2 tell the lax rats... warm-up CD is being diligently worked on, I'm going to PUMP YOU UP.

Love,